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What is HDR Photography? What is Flambient Photography?

Updated: Jan 12

As you should already know, photography is a significant marketing element used within the real estate industry to showcase homes available for sale on the market. That said, real estate photography is very different from other forms of photography, as photographers must deal with challenges caused by variations in lighting. Therefore, professional photographers today use HDR and Flambient techniques to counteract these difficulties.


What is HDR Photography?

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a technique that aims to add more "Dynamic range of light" to photographs. Instead of just taking one photo, HDR usually takes 3 to 5 images (known as bracketing) of the same scene. Generally speaking, a photographer will take a very dark exposure, a standard room exposure, and a very bright photo to obtain all the necessary Light and pixel information. Then, graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are required to blend these exposures in the "Post-processing" phase.

HDR can struggle to get the correct colors. When you Bracket various exposures for an HDR photo, you not only get a blend of multiple white balances, but the processing can toss in a color shift from working throughout the dynamic range. Your photos will not look realistic unless you have an HDR Super Star photographer and editor (you don't see many).

HDR can produce unrealistic results, especially from outside views. This is primarily due to the HDR processing software, which has to make assumptions about where shadows and various exposures lie through the frame. If you've ever seen an interior photo with strange shadows or halos around window frames or shadows on the window frame that looked dirty, then that was likely an HDR image.


Final HDR Image


It is a good photo, but what about the white balance and color distortion? Whites should always look white! Warm light fixtures = Orange walls, and Cold Windows = blue/purplish walls.


What is Flambient Photography?


The Flambient technique combines ambient shots with flashed-light shots to create a final photo with a natural feel of the room and its colors. Unlike HDR, Flambient speaks more authentic to the paint colors and will provide potential home buyers/renters with an accurate representation of each room. Flashlight controls all the HDR light sources by becoming the dominant light source. Having flashed lighting as the chief light source maintains the white balance and subsequent colors. This overcomes a significant shortcoming of HDR photography, where each ambient shot will vary widely, creating somewhat surreal colors in walls, ceilings, and cabinets.


A flashed photo is not a final product. It only serves to illuminate the room enough to get the correct colors and avoid harsh glare. We then add the ambient shot layer that will show the natural balance of light, and when we combine these 2, we can create what is known as Flambient. Each session usually takes up to 60-90 minutes, just an additional 10-15 minutes from HDR sessions; fascinating!


Flambient sample images below of the same scene at a very similar angle (Photographers can compose differently)




Ambient shot on the left: We only use the ambient photo to bring a natural feel to the room in that final image created in post-processing. The ambient light in Photoshop will help us get all the brightness and shadows needed to represent the room accurately.


Flashed shots on the right: Flash will reveal the room's true colors. We control the interior lighting with flash, avoiding those strange Blueish/orange shadows or halos around window frames that HDR brackets can create.


Flambient final photo:

Final product: Just the perfect balance. Does it look like a magazine photo? This is Flambient photography. Look at the whites; they all look white now!

Why is HDR more common than Flambient?


HDR is more straightforward to train. You only need to teach new photographers camera settings and a composition map. Flambient requires on-site training with flash and can make the process longer. With Flash, you learn to read light with your eyes, which can take some time. Not everybody can do Flambient, and this highly skilled method is one of the fastest-growing photography techniques in Real Estate today. Don't forget that photography is all about capturing the different light sources and how well you can represent them. Because of this and the competitive Real Estate photography industry, Professional photographers have raised the bar and developed modern techniques (such as Flambient) that will wow buyers and sellers.


 

Booking, Delivery, and Payment:

 

Payment: You can pay online after delivery (Pay Per Download) with instant confirmation and receipt. You will receive an email confirming that your gallery and invoice are ready. No upfront payment or booking deposit is required.


Booking: We offer instant bookings with calendar availability, confirmation emails, alerts, and integration. Just choose your package, enter the address, choose a date from the calendar provided, and submit the form with any special notes the photographer might need to access the property, community, gates, etc. If you are ready to book, please click below. Please remember that cancellations within 24 hours will have a $100 cancellation fee. Please track the weather and let us know if you need to reschedule, and we will accommodate you.





Please let us know if you have any questions or contact us

at 941-217-9139.



The Bird Solutions Team

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